He lost out on an important event of his life, courtesy financial constraints. Kushal Singh Thakur of Kantabanji in the district was among the three karate masters selected from the country to participate in the International Karate Cup - 2012 organised under the aegis of Malaysia Karate Federation in August.
Coming from an economically weak background, his family was not in a position to fund his trip. His father, Bharat Singh Thakur, runs a small business in Kantabanji town.
Thakur had received the invitation from the India Chief of Ryushinin Kan Shitoryu J S Kalaimani to participate in 55-kg category based on his past performances. He had grabbed two silver medals in the International Ryushinin Kan Shitoryu Karate Championship 2012 held in Chennai.
Thakur, who works in a private finance company, had approached the then collector SN Dey, Balangir MP Kalikesh Singh Deo and Kantabanji MLA Santosh Singh Saluja seeking sponsorship for his trip but in vain.
Karate associations in Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu had reportedly offered to bear all his expenses had he consented to represent their state but he declined. However, none in Odisha seems to share his love for the sport.